Giving feels good doesn't it?

I imagine most of you have friends you spend time with. You like them and enjoy their company. You probably share lots of common interests and spend time pursuing them together. Successful friendships tend to be about giving and receiving. It might be who pays for the football match tickets, whose house you eat at or who pays for the next round of drinks. We all like to give, but only provided we get something back that we value similarly. If not, the relationship can become sticky.

I wonder why that attitude of mind is rarely extended to our business lives. Sure, customers offer to buy goods and services in return for payment. It is taken for granted that if you have an illness that you can go to see a doctor for advice. Problem…solution etc. But have you thought about volunteering elements of what you do without the guarantee of reward? (Bear with me at this point!)

Psychologically, if someone gives you something you feel good about that person, and may feel a slight indebtedness to reciprocate. That’s only fair, isn’t it? I know some people are more hard skinned than others and your feelings of indebtedness may vary depending on the perceived size of the gift. However by offering something without strings attached you will create feelings of goodwill and indebtedness amongst the recipients. So give some thought to something that you can do that is giving without condition. Some ideas? Well how about a personalised gift and send it to all your clients saying how you found the key ring and trolley token really useful and thought they might like one too. Or for accountants, a note saying you’ve found a great way to avoid a certain tax payment and thought they might like the tip to use for themselves. Everyone can do it!

So my suggestion is to apply the same sort of attitudes to giving and receiving to business relationships as you would to personal relationships, rather than working to the letter of the contract and too much over concern over turnover, profit and margin. And you might just find that those bits go up anyway!

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